Cover Crops for Clean Water
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Table of Contents

Cover Crops for Clean Water
Edited by W.L. Hargrove
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Conference Planning Committee

Increasing concerns about the influence of agriculture on water quality served as the backdrop for the conference on which this book is based. The Soil and Water Conservation Society and its Legumes in Conservation Tillage Systems Task Force saw the need to collect and disseminate new and old information on cover crops and their role in water quality. The result was a conference held April 9-11, 1991, in Jackson, Tennessee.

This publication is intended to summarize, augment, and extend the information presented at that conference. The papers presented herein include the latest information on the role of cover crops in water quality management, including reducing water runoff, soil erosion, agrichemicals lost in runoff, and nitrate leaching to groundwater.

The large number of cooperating and supporting agencies for the conference and this book is testimony to the importance and urgency of water quality problems and to the potential benefits of cover crop management. It is our hope that this proceedings will provide a base of information that can be used to improve water quality through soil and crop management strategies that use cover crop technologies.

The planning committee thanks the Soil and Water Conservation Society for sponsoring the conference and the many cooperating organizations and agencies for their support, including the American Society of Agronomy; Crop Science Society of America; ICI Americas; Land Improvement Contractors of America; Milan Experiment Station; Monsanto Agricultural Company; Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc.; Soil Science Society of America; Agricultural Research Department, National Fertilizer & Environmental Research Center, Tennessee Valley Authority; Truax Company, Inc.; the US. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service, Cooperative State Research Service (Low-Input Sustainable Agriculture program), and Soil Conservation Service; University of Tennessee; and West Tennessee Experiment Station.

Financial support for these proceedings, in particular, came from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service and the National Fertilizer & Environmental Research Center of the Tennessee Valley Authority.

Suggested Citation
Hargrove, W.L., ed. 1991. Cover Crops for Clean Water. Ankeny, IA: Soil and Water Conservation Society.

Table of Contents

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Front Matter



The Challenge of Clean Water
Don O. Richardson


Expectations of cover crops for sustainable agriculture
R. Lal, E. Regnier, D. J. Eckert, W. M. Edwards, and R. Hammond

An information data base on cover crops
Jill ShoreAuburn and Robert Bugg


Cover crop effects on soil erosion by wind and water
G. W. Langdale, R. L. Blevins, D. L. Karlen, D. K. McCool, M. A. Nearing, E. L. Skidmore, A. W. Thomas, D. D. Tyler, and J. R. Williams

Effects of crop residue and tillage practices on water infilitration and crop production
George C. Naderman

Soil surface condition effects on runoff and erosion on selected vineyard soils
P.J.E. Louw and A.T.P. Bennie

Cover crop experience in South Coastal British Columbia
Geoff A. Hughes-Games and Ron A. Bertrand

Oat cover cropping in sugarcane for weed and erosion control in Hawaii
Carl I. Evensen and Robert V. Osgood

Permanent cover crops for vineyards
Frederick B. Gaffney and Martin van der Grinten

Conservation of soil and water by using a new tillage system for row crops
Manfred Estler

Cover crops for wind erosion control in semiarid regions
J. D. Bilbro

Measuring cover crop soil moisture competition in north coastal California vineyards
Phillip Blake


Effect of cover crops on surface water quality
A. N. Sharpley and S. J. Smith

Effect of cereal grain winter cover crops on surface water pollutant transport from Coastal Plain corn production systems
K. W. Staver and R. B. Brinsfield

Water quality impacts of winter rye cover with selected best management practices in Pennsylvania
J. M. Hamlett and K. Brannan

Soybean tillage and cover crop effects on water runoff and soil erosion
Monroe Rasnake


Effect of cover crops on groundwater quality
J. J. Meisinger, W. L. Hargrove, R. L. Mikkelsen, J. R. Williams, and V. W. Benson

Impact of annual cropping on shallow groundwater quality in the Northern Great Plains
G. J. Beke

Tillage and cover crop effects on nitrate leaching
G. V. Wilson, D. D. Tyler, J. Logan, and K. Turnage

Evapotranspiration and nitrogen accumulation in a winter rye cover crop in the northern Corn Belt
D. C. Reicosky and D.D. Warnes

Influence of fall tillage and cover crops on soil water and nitrogen use efficiency of corn grown on a Coastal Plain soil
D. W. Reeves and J. T. Touchton

Relating nitrogen uptake by cereal grain winter cover crops to changes in groundwater nitrate concentration
K. W. Staver, R. B. Brinsfield, and W. L. Magette

Use of ceral grain cover crops for reducing groundwater nitrate contamination in the Chesapeake Bay region
R. B. Brinsfield and K. W. Staver

Cultivation of cover crops to control nitrate leaching
M. Smukalski, Jutta Rogasik, and Susanne Obenauf


Role of cover crops in nitrogen cycling
John W. Doran and M. Scott Smith

Soil nitrogen movement under winter cover crops and residues
Greg D. Hoyt and Robert L. Mikkelsen

Influence of cover crops on denitrification and nitrogen mineralization
C. F. Drury, J. A. Stone, and W. I. Findlay

Effects of winter cover crops on corn yield in Parana, Brazil
Ademir Calegari

Benefits of a winter legume cover crop to corn: Rotation versus fixed-nitrogen effects
H. A. Torbert and D. W. Reeves

Rye nitrogen cycling for corn and potato production
G. K. Evanylo

Decomposition and nitrogen recycling of cover crops and crop residues
Z. C. Somda, P. B. Ford, and W. L. Hargrove

Effect of cover crops on cycling of nitrogen and phosphorus in a winter wheat-corn sequence
R. A. Samson, C. M. Foulds, and D. G. Patriquin


Role of cover crops in recovery and maintenance of soil productivity
R. R. Bruce, P. F. Hendrix, and G. W. Langdale

Fall-planted spring oats: A low-risk cover crop to reduce erosion following soybeans
Steven J. Corak, Thomas C. Kaspar, and Robert Horton

Long-run impacts of cover crops on yield, farm income, and nitrogen recycling
Thyrele Robertson, Verel Benson, Jimmy R. Williams, Charles H. Lander, and David L. Schertz


Development and evaluation of germplasm and cultivars of cover crops
J. R. Sims and A. E. Slinkard

Adaption of legume species as cover crops in no-till systems
B. N. Duck and D. D. Tyler

Legumes in rotation with corn in southeastern Nebraska
P. T. Koerner and J. F. Power

Native winter cover shows potential in no-till cotton
J. S. Parkman and L. H. Bloodworth

Development of caley pea for cover crop use
J. A. Mosjidis, Charles M. Owsley, and Malcome Kirkland

New cool-season legumes for use in conservation tillage
C. M. Owsleyand W. L. Hargrove

Cooperative efforts of the Soil Conservation Service in developing and evaluating U.S. cover crops
David G. Lorenz and Jerry Lemunyon


Role of cover crops in weed management and water quality
A. Douglas Worsham

Mechanical control of legume cover crops
Seth M. Dabney, Normie W. Buehring, and Dennis B. Reginelli

Cover crop management for soybean production in northern Missouri
Z. R. Helsel, N. C. Wollenhaupt, and K. D. Kephart

Effects of a winter rye cover crop system and available soil water on weed control and yield in soybeans
D. D. Warnes, J. H. Ford, C. V. Eberlein, and W. E. Lueschen

Weed management in corn polyculture systems
Jane Mt. Pleasant and Thomas W. Scott

Cover crop effects on weeds, diseases, and insects of vegetables
Sharad C. Phatak, Robert L. Bugg, Donald R. Sumner, J. Danny Gay, Kathryn E. Brunson, and Richard B. Chalfant

Suppression of black root rot on cotton by winter legume cover crops
C. S. Rothrock and S. R. Kendig


Cover crops and control of arthropod pests of agriculture
Robert L. Bugg

Cover crop, nitrogen, and insect interactions
B. Warren Roberts and Bob Cartwright


Role of cover crops in integrated crop production systems
J. F. Power and V. O. Biederbeck

Strip management of crimson clover as a reseeding cover crop in no-till corn
N. N. Rannells and M. G. Wagger

Crimson clover in a reduced-chemical-input cropping system
M. G. Cook and L D. King

Cover crop management systems for broccoli
Francis X. Mangan, Stephen J. Herbert, and Gerald L. Litchjield

On-farm evaluation of legume interseedings in broccoli
C. M. Foulds, K. A. Stewart, and R. A. Samson

Economics of no-till corn planted into winter cover crops
J. Bowden, L. Jordan, and D. Biehle

The promise of strip intercropping: Is it economically viable
Craig Chase and Michael Duffy


Use of cover crops with integrated crop-livestock production systems
J. C. Gardner and D. B. Faulkner

Improved use of fertilizer, land, and climatic resources by interseeding a cool-season grass into a warm-season grass
S. R. Wilkinson and J. A. Stuedemann

On-farm economic and environmental impacts of cover on corn silage ground on a limited-resource-based Tennessee dairy farm
Burton C. English, Thyrele Robertson, Madadev Bhat, and Bary Bullen

Winter cover crop management in a high rainfall region with large populations of waterfowl
W. D. Temple, A. A. Bomke, and T. Duynstee

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